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Russian Senior Diplomat Meets Houthi Delegation in Moscow

Russian Presidential Special Envoy for the Middle East and Africa and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov received a delegation of Yemen’s Ansarullah movement in Moscow on Jan. 25 to discuss the escalation of tensions in the Red Sea yesterday, reported TASS, citing a statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry. “Special attention was paid to the development of tragic events in the zone of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, as well as the escalation as a result of the situation in the Red Sea. In this context, the U.S. and U.K. missile and bomb strikes on Yemen, which could destabilize the situation on a regional scale, were strongly condemned,” the Foreign Ministry reported.

Bogdanov and the Houthi delegation also discussed the settlement of the military and political crisis in Yemen. “In addition, the importance of stepping up international efforts to create as soon as possible the necessary conditions for launching a full-format intra-Yemeni national dialogue under the UN auspices was emphasized,” the ministry release stated.

According to Egypt’s daily Al Ahram, Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdel Salam said he and Bogdanov had discussed U.S. and British strikes on the Houthis, affirming that it was more pressing for the United States to “stop the aggression on the Gaza Strip and deliver humanitarian assistance there rather than militarize the Red Sea.”

Earlier, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev said that Russia opposes the recent Houthi attacks targeting civilian vessels in the Bab al-Mandab Strait, but it considers the reaction by the West to be over the top.